The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Flyby Commencement 2019!

Angela Merkel
Flyby Blog is proud to present the first-ever annual Commencement issue! Students can check out this issue of Flyby for pieces about life post-Harvard, commencement how-to's, throwbacks, and interviews with seniors about their time at Harvard. We'll be posting one category of content each day!

5/27 — The Time of Your Life: To finish off the Flyby commencement issue, we're giving you senior and tutor interviews reflecting on your time at Harvard! So! Many! Feels!

5/24 — Throwbacks: Today we're throwing it back to your freshman year! Check out the Flyby commencement issue for a playlist taking seniors back to their freshman year and fun pieces reminding you of what's different and what's stayed the same since then!

5/23 — How to Post-Harvard: What — you might ask — about life after Harvard and commencement? Flyby is here to help with some content specifically tailer to help you in the ultimate post-Harvard how-to!

5/22 — How to Commencement: Today is all about commencement how-tos! Check out our writers takes on the weirdest senior sale items they found, a commencement-time bucket list, and some do's and don'ts for commencement!

Pepper, The Adorable Adams House Pup, Is Leaving Harvard

Pepper the iconic Adams dog
If you’ve ever been walking near Adams and you’ve seen what looks like a tiny teddy bear roaming around, have no fear: You’ve just been blessed by Pepper, the toy cockapoo owned by two tutors in Adams House. It’s hard not to feel complete joy and an immediate need to pet him when you come across this tiny ball of fluff, so when we heard that he wouldn’t be residing in Adams next year, we had to go learn more.

Tutors Sheila A. Gholkar and Vinayak Muralidhar have had Pepper for just over a year, and he’s been an adorable addition from the start. “When we first got him, you could literally hold him in the palm of your hand,” said Gholkar. “We couldn’t even find a collar that was small enough for him!” He’s grown a bit in the past year, but as the runt of his litter he’s still the perfect size to carry around. While it may seem surprising, he’s actually fully grown, so he’ll be staying perfectly pint-sized.

Students in Adams are especially fond of Pepper’s “puppy office hours,” where they can sign up to spend a few minutes one-on-one with him. With even those outside of the House asking for the chance to spend time with this popular pup, his social schedule rivals that of even the most outgoing students on campus. Pepper is a big fan of the students too, as he can often be seen standing by his door waiting in excitement for his next visitor to come.

Pepper loves to be anywhere he can see other people around campus, but one of his favorite spots is the security office in Claverly Hall. There may be a “Warning: Security Dog” sign making his presence known, but don’t worry — he’s anything but threatening and loves to sit there for hours greeting students who are coming home after a long day of classes.

Beyond puppy office hours and his favorite hang-out spots, he’s also known to spend some time in the spotlight. At this point, nearly everyone has seen the legendary Adams Housing Day video, but next time you watch be sure to pay close attention during the scene in the main lobby: You may spot a very special cameo!

Pepper isn’t just a favorite of students around campus; he’s also a volunteer for Pets as Therapy. Every week, he and other dogs of faculty members and tutors travel to the Cambridge Rehabilitation and Nursing Center to spend time with its residents. Though he’s known to be pretty energetic, he does a great job when volunteering and has become pals with some of the other dogs in the group!

Now, for the bad news: Unfortunately for those of us new to Pepper, he and his family will be moving away from campus this upcoming summer. But, don’t start your mourning yet — Pepper isn’t going far! “We’ll be staying in Cambridge, so you’ll definitely still be seeing us around,” said Gholkar. Though Pepper sightings may be a bit more rare in the future, that’s even more reason to cherish every opportunity you get to see this sweet pup around campus!

How to Say Goodbye

Summer on the Charles
Now that another year is coming to an end, we will soon say goodbye to crying over finals and hello to summer adventures. Unfortunately, finals aren’t the only thing we’ll be saying goodbye to. Whether its new friends that you’ve just made this semester, friends that have been by your side throughout Harvard, or a significant other you don’t want to part with, there’s no way of evading the inescapable summer separation. Here are some tips on how to minimize your sadness over leaving your loved ones, because after finals season, you should really give your poor tear ducts a break.

Slip Them Your Business Card

In true Harvard networking style, remind your friend to keep in touch via this short and classy method. Efficiently pass out your phone number, email, and address to let your friend know that there are no limits when it comes to contacting you. Yes, social media exists, but why slide into their DMs when you can roll up to their house with a sleeping bag? (Caution: please have extreme confidence in your friendship before taking this step). Pro tip: provide extra business cards so they can’t claim to have lost your contact info when you confront them about not hearing from them.

Be Cheesy

Make sure your friend doesn’t forget you by writing an essay of why your friendship means the world to you or by making a cute montage of memories that you’ve shared. This may evoke some tears, but at the end of the day, distance means nothing when you have friends who would willingly write you an essay when they barely finished their final papers.


Crawl into their suitcase, grab their legs, and refuse to let go. Who says you have to say goodbye? Do you really think TSA or a restraining order can stop you from evading goodbye? Okay, yeah, they probably can. Maybe opt for buying plane tickets to visit them or establishing FaceTiming schedules instead.

Saying goodbye never gets easier. But hey, if you could get into Harvard, you can spend some time without your friends/significant others. And honestly, at the end of the day, if none of these tips work out, just give into the temptation to ugly cry. We won’t judge you.

Quiz: How to Spend Your Last $10 Of the Semester

Piles of Money
At this point in the semester, everything seems to be taking hits — from our GPA to our bank account, we’re continuously shocked at the new lows we reach. Why not discover a new GPA low by procrastinating even further on your studying and taking this quiz on how to spend your last $10 of the semester?

  1. How many formals did you attend this semester?

    1. Zero. There’s no time for formals when you have four consecutive finals coming up

    2. Just my house formal. Honestly, formals are fun, but if you don’t have a date, is there really any need to attend more than one?

    3. A few. I like dressing up and having a good time, but sometimes I’d really just rather have a chill night in

    4. All of them. Finals can wait when there are people to flex on

  2. What is your summer 2019 goal?

    1. Secure my 2020 internship while getting ready for the LSAT and/or MCAT. The grind never stops!

    2. Have a summer fling! If I can’t find love at Harvard, maybe I can land a ~summer adventure buddy~

    3. Check out some really neat foodie spots! My foodsta needs to be updated pronto

    4. Full send! The aim is to travel to a minimum of four countries

  3. Where is your favorite place to spend your Board Plus?

    1. Lamont Café so I can spend my entire day at Lamont undisturbed

    2. At whichever Grille currently has the Grille worker I have my eye on…

    3. Every place that would take it...I used up all of my Board Plus in March

    4. Why use Board Plus when Toscano exists?

  4. What are you getting your mother for Mother’s Day?

    1. The best gift I can give my mom is to succeed

    2. Roses! Maybe if I send some, the universe will redirect that energy back towards me

    3. An edible bouquet or a chocolate basket! The way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach

    4. Probably the latest Kate Spade bag if she hasn’t already purchased it. Only the best for my mother

  5. What sounds like your ideal job post-graduation?

    1. Lawyer or doctor or both — I haven’t decided

    2. Maybe a journalist so I can find a way to interview attractive people?

    3. Food critic! Who wouldn’t want to be paid to eat?

    4. I’ll probably take over the family company in a few years

If you got all A’s…

Please, please spend that last $10 on self-care by getting a face mask or four (4 for $10 at Urban...though sadly now you’ll have to order them online — rest in peace, Urban). I wouldn’t be surprised if you chose all A’s for no reason other than because they were all A’s. Your money is definitely best spent on stress relief because no matter what you say, the grind really does have to come to a stop sometime.

If you got all B’s…

Since all you clearly seem to be interested in is landing a B-ae, why not just shoot your shot and use your $10 to get J.P. Licks or Berryline for two? I’d act fast — you want to make sure the love of your life doesn’t leave campus before you work up the nerve.

If you got all C’s…

As someone who probably thinks of money in terms of how much food you can buy with it, you probably already know how many McNuggets you can buy with $10. That’s right: What better way to spend your final $10 than on 40 McNuggets?

If you got all D’s…

This quiz was for people who really only had $10 in their bank account. If you aren't in this situation, maybe treat your blockmates to a nice end-of finals dinner so that you aren’t the only one who gets a break from HUDS (hello finals period Uber Eats).

Harvard Safari: The 5 Students You'll See During Finals Period

Cabot Science Library
Ah, finals period. A time for attending endless formals, pretending finals aren’t days away, and actually enjoying the few days of nice weather during spring term. While you’re pushing thoughts of studying for your impending finals aside, channel your inner Bear Grylls and see if you can spot all five types of students you can see during finals period.

The Frequent Traveler

If you look on campus for these students, you won’t find them. Their preferred coping mechanism is to put physical distance between themselves and the problem. A quick Instagram stalking session will tell you exactly where this adventurous student is, but New York City or Los Angeles is usually a safe bet. They may run the risk of being too jet lagged to take their finals, but they’re having a great time procrastinating in a picture-perfect location.

If Spotted: See if they’ll bring back a fun souvenir (or at least photoshop you into a pic or two so you can imagine yourself living your best life), and be prepared to hear all about their trip for the next week.

The Hermit

The work never stops for this student. You can find them holed up in Lamont or Cabot Library, usually with a large caffeine supply and ever-darkening bags under their eyes. The particularly advanced hermits have taken up permanent residence in their study location, and have a toothbrush and blanket nearby. They’ve spent more time clicking through Powerpoints than sleeping in the past few days, and it shows. They’ll ace their exams, but at what cost?

If Spotted: Approach with caution. Some will appreciate human company, but others are too far in the zone to be interrupted. Bringing a snack or coffee offering will increase your chances of a favorable interaction.

The Hibernator

This student hasn’t slept since winter break, and that’s all they’ll be doing this week. They’ll only leave their room to grab a quick snack from the dhall — the hardcore sloths have stocked enough snacks to outlast an apocalypse. While they might log more hours on a Netflix binge than reviewing notes, at least they’ll be feeling recharged enough to take their tests.

If Spotted: Don’t attempt to get them to move from their room. Just bring a blanket and join them in embracing the chill life.

The Pendulum

This student has exactly two settings: unbelievable chill or nonstop grind-a-thon. They’re likely feeling the panic about exams by now, so they may be easily confused with the Hermit, though they don’t yet have that zombie-like look (and smell). They only work under the pressure of a deadline, or in short bursts of productivity. Living a sine wave of working and hanging out is an odd balance, but they make it work. They might seem a little strung out from their irregular sleep schedule, but their chances of doing well on exams are pretty high.

If Spotted: If they don’t register you approaching, they’re probably deep in the rhythm of work and won’t take kindly to an interruption. Otherwise, feel free to interact.

The Unicorn

This rare breed has planned out their study routine in advance, spreading their work out evenly over the course of reading period and finals. Apparently, the whole doing-manageable-amounts-of-work-over-a-period-of-time thing actually works. You can spot these students by noticing the lack of stress in their eyes or their carefully color-coded schedule. It’s kind of strange to imagine a functional student at Harvard, but we promise they’re actually out there.

If Spotted: Take notes on how they function and/or ask for their hand in marriage.

Harvard Freshman Year Bingo

freshman bingo 2019
Have you done all the typical Harvard freshman things? Try to score bingo on Flyby's Harvard freshman bingo board!

How to Keep those Connections: Professors

Daniel Gilbert
Now that you have reached the end of the semester, it’s time for a well-deserved break. Just kidding — it’s actually a great time to think about your future. As the semester draws to a close, you can start planning for how to maintain connections with your professors. A professor that you click with can be a great future advisor, mentor, or recommender, and on their end, it’s always nice to know that a student appreciated their course. Here are a few ways to forge that meaningful connection.

Email Your Professor a Thank You

At the end of the semester, it’s important to make yourself stand out and create an impression — just being an attentive listener in class will not suffice. Email your professor to tell them how much you enjoyed the class, and be sure to make the email specific and individualized (in other words, this is not the time to create a reusable email template). Even if you don’t get a response, they, or at least the person who schedules their meetings, has seen your name now.

Go to Office Hours (The Last Ones at Least)

Most professors’ office hours are sparsely attended throughout the semester, emptying out dramatically when there are no assignments left. Attend one of their last office hours to let them know how their class educated you and changed how you thought about the world. A little flattery never hurt anyone.

Stop By Their Office Next Year

While this isn’t one you can accomplish right now with your current professors, it is something you can do with past professors. Stop by, or schedule an appointment if that’s how they roll, to update them on your endeavors and tell them how much you miss their class.

Doing any (or all) of these things can set you up for a successful relationship with your professor in the future. When trying to find a letter of recommendation, a thesis advisor, or just a reference for your resume, these connections will be immensely helpful. Going that little extra distance can dramatically impact how people view you and the connections you forge.

How to Make the Most of a Late Final

The View From Lamont
You may be stuck on campus until the last day of finals, but “stuck” is relative. Instead, think of your extended time on campus as an opportunity to take in Harvard/Cambridge for all it has to offer (and learn to enjoy campus at a time when the tourists outnumber students).

Justify Your Procrastination and Ease Reading Period Guilt

Maybe your last final is the latest it could possibly be, but instead of hating your professor, relish in the fact that you can go to formals without the guilt of needing to study eating away at you. So take your time getting ready for those formals, and have fun without feeling as if you should be in Lamont.

Maximize Time *Not* at Home

If you’re planning on staying close to home this summer or at least spending a few days back at home, think about your late final as a way to maximize your time not surrounded by all the people from your hometown you’ve been avoiding. Less time at home also means less time having to explain to your parents that you (still) have no idea want to do with your life.

Spend Time Enjoying Boston

It’s all too common to say that you wish you were able to visit Boston more throughout the semester, but now you finally have the time! You can visit the Museum of Fine Arts or that cool cafe you’ve been planning to check out for months now. Take this time between class and finals to not only study, but to appreciate your surroundings and take part in some much needed self-care.

Take Advantage of the Limited Nice Cambridge Weather

The enjoyable not-too-cold/not-too-hot Cambridge weather is only here for a limited period of time — and mostly when the majority of students aren’t on campus. Take advantage of your time here during mid-May to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air before the scorching summer hits.

If Nothing Else, Study

We know it’s a shocker, but maybe you can use the extensive time you have before your final to actually study. While all your friends are cramming, you can take your time and maybe check out some new study spots.

Enjoy the last few weeks you have on campus, and good luck on finals!

The Five Stages of Writing Papers

There’s nothing more fun than consolidating everything you have learned this semester into at least ten pages (all of which are currently blank). When you have papers to write during reading period even though you also have finals to study for, the outlook can seem bleak. This reading period, we present the five, Flyby-approved stages of writing papers.

Stage 1: Denial

It’s the last week of classes and your life is slowly being sucked out of you (except for the fact that you lost your soul after the first midterm of the semester). There are psets to complete, last-minute midterms to prepare for, performances to attend, and formals to rock. How can you possibly have work beyond this week? Everything until reading period is meaningless, because you are numb from the length of your to-do list and sleep deprivation.

Stage 2: Anger

It’s Wednesday evening and you’re cheering! You made it through classes alive and the end of the semester is in sight. And then you wake up on Thursday morning to boiling rage. How could papers possibly be due when you just got time to breathe? Since suppressing emotions is unhealthy, you release your anger by mistreating your laptop keyboard and glowering at the person who stole your favorite study spot. This stage does not technically end until Primal Scream.

Stage 3: Bargaining

Since pain seems to be a mainstay of our lives for the foreseeable future, you do your best to alleviate it, certainly not by starting to write, but by spamming your teaching fellows. Can I somehow just drop this paper? Could I please have an extension? When they reply with a terse negative, you decide to compromise: you muster all of your strength and write exactly one word on the last page. Consider that page count reached.

Stage 4: Depression

Your feelings have finally moved into the present. This stage usually starts at 6 p.m. on the day of your midnight deadline. You despair at your open, half-finished document, and it seems impossible to meet the page count. Unfortunately, the vending machine in Lamont Cafe is empty by now, so stress eating is not an option. Resignedly, you begin to type.

Stage 5: Acceptance

This stage can begin anytime from when you are halfway through your paper to when you hit submit at 11:59 p.m. It doesn’t mean you feel okay about the franctic past few hours, but you learn to live with the reality of your impending finals.

No matter where you are in the five stages of writing papers, stay strong. Somehow, you will make it through reading period, and somehow this paper will eventually be over. Until then, good luck.

Reading Period Roundup

L'eau de Lamont
As we hurtle toward reading period, it can be tough to tap into the reserves of your motivation and finish strong. If you (like us) are motivated by free food or just the concept of doing something that doesn’t involve studying, Harvard has your back. Over the course of reading period, there are plenty of study break events to hit up, so we’ve compiled them here for your easy access.

May 1

LDOC 2019 — Welcome to Paradise

Kick off reading period right by heading to the Science Center Plaza from 3-6 p.m. for College Events Board’s last day of class celebration. There will be an oxygen bar (what?), massages, manicures, bubbles, t-shirts, caricatures, dumplings, snow cones, steel drums, and more. Don’t miss out on this chance to pretend like you’re in paradise before you end up stuck indoors for the next two weeks!

May 2

Treat Yourself Study Break

Head to the basement of Grays from 12-1:30 p.m. for a study break from the Office of Diversity Education and Support! Enjoy Oggi’s pizza and massage chairs while you plant succulents, play board games, and make aromatherapy satchels. All first-generation, undocumented/DACAmented, mixed status students, students of color, and friends/allies are especially welcome!

La Mesa de Mayo

CEB is at it again, this time teaming up with Raza for a discussion on the origins of Cinco de Mayo. This event, including a family-style dinner with great music, will be held at the Student Organization Center at Hilles at 6 p.m. — make sure to RSVP if you need a break from dhall food!

May 8

Swap ‘Til You Drop

Suddenly remembering that you actually have to pack up all of your stuff at the end of finals? Or realizing that your wardrobe is not at all prepared for summer? Stop by the Women’s Center from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. to swap out your gently used clothes and hopefully find some gems for yourself!

Wellbeing Wednesdays

If you’re stressed that it’s the last day of reading period, head to the Mount Auburn Room in the Smith Campus Center from 3-5 p.m. They’ll provide coloring, crafts, and tea! It’s an optimal place to meditate, relax, and unwind.

Cram at the HAM

If you’re getting a little bored of your usual study spaces, switch it up for something much more aesthetic: the Harvard Art Museums! Head to the Quincy St. entrance from 7-11 p.m. for snacks, coffee, and a museum-themed playlist. The courtyard and galleries will be open for studying, or take a break with a student-led tour or a virtual reality sketching session!

As the libraries and study spaces around campus fill up and the deadlines loom closer, don’t forget to take a breather every now and then. And hey, when free food is on the table, you might as well take it.

What Should Go in the Old Urban Outfitters Space?

Urban Outfitters
This past January, Urban Outfitters — formerly located in between Sweetgreen and the Curious George store — closed down. Its absence left a hole in the hearts of countless hipsters and an even larger one on JFK Street of Harvard Square. In light of this, we set out to gauge what Harvard freshmen really want to see move in. Here’s what we found:

An overwhelming majority of freshmen called for more restaurant options in the Square:

“I’d have to say a restaurant of some kind, Chick-fil-A would be nice if they could make it work, maybe an ice cream place. Honestly just food, I’m more of a food guy than like a clothes guy” commented Connor S. Dowd ’22.

Many freshmen agreed, including Britteny C. Okorom-Achuonye ’22 who said, “I want to see more affordable dining, like cheaper restaurants.”

Caroline A. Conway ’22 added to the restaurant chorus, saying, “I’d really like it if it was some kind of food cafeteria style place, like how Boston Public Market is. I feel like a lot of healthier, cheaper food options would be very nice.”

One freshman did not want to stray too far from already well-established favorites like Santouka. “I think the Urban Outfitters store should be a ramen place,” said Hayato Shiotsu ’22.

Others called for more basic food sources, like grocery stores and co-ops:

Tyler T. Johnston ’22, a Crimson FM editor, had a creative idea to increase access to fresh produce, saying, “I think a community farming co-op would be really cool, where students can go and get decently priced, organic, sustainable food.”

Some just wanted a basic grocery store, like Nathaniel B. Liberman ’22, who said, “In that space a grocery store like a Whole Foods would be very nice.”

Kyle O. Fridberg ’22 agreed, calling for “an affordable grocery store because there just aren’t that many [cheap] options in Harvard Square and just generally near Harvard for reasonably priced food.”

A few brave souls ventured outside of food-related options:

Iyabo B. Awogboro ‘22 wanted “something activity-based so maybe like an escape room or bowling alley — something we could go out and do without having to go all the way into Boston.”

Instead of entertainment, one freshman wanted to see retail come in. Samantha C. O’Sullivan ’22 said, “In the Urban space I’d like to see a thrift store with really cheap clothes.”

And some freshmen were simply done with the closure saga entirely:

James T. Devaney ’22, one such freshman, stated, “I am completely ambivalent.” Looks like anything but an empty space will do.

While we may still be mourning the loss of a place to buy last-minute clothing and birthday presents, we can look forward to something new on the horizon. Here’s to hoping that some of the wishes of the class of 2022 are granted.

How to Embrace Spring at Harvard

Radcliffe Yard in Spring
The sun is shining, the air is warm, and you’ve got final papers to procrastinate on. Here’s our list of the best ways to embrace the season of sunshine, flowers, and allergies at Harvard:

Explore Boston

Head to the North End for some delicious Italian food and a great neighborhood walk. Grab a mozzarella, tomato, and basil sandwich at Bricco’s or a cappuccino at Caffe Vittoria and enjoy Boston’s very own little Italy.

Also, try downtown Boston — home of the Boston Common and many historic buildings. If you are looking for affordable produce, the Haymarket open-air market springs up every Saturday. Or check out the Museum of Fine Arts, which is free for all Harvard students.

If you’re looking for something closer to home, Cambridge hosts its own hidden gems. Harvard Square’s very own Black Sheep Bagel Cafe is perfect for a quick bagel and coffee. Central Square also hosts monthly festivals: Up and coming is the Mexican Street Food Festival on April 28, 2019.

Get Active

Head on a relaxing run or walk along the Charles River. Try the scenic route down John F. Kennedy Street to the Charles, then along Memorial Drive until MIT, then head back on Massachusetts Avenue. You can even stop at the Clover or Flour along the way to treat yourself to a post-run snack.

If running is not your cup of tea, rent a Bluebike right on Mass. Ave. for $2.50 for every 30 minutes and go for a ride. Going along the Charles is always a great option, or if you’re feeling adventurous check out the Jamaicaway Trail in Boston, running between Leverett and Jamaica Pond.

Host A Picnic

The bank of the Charles is a great spot to enjoy a gorgeous scenic view of the river, and it is also convenient if you’re located in a river house. Grab a blanket and food and camp out with your friends. If the river is too far, the Quad is always a good option too. Perks include bench seating in the courtyard and Cabot Cafe!

However you choose to celebrate the warm weather, be sure to enjoy it while it lasts, and don’t let finals season get you down!

Flyby's Productivity Playlist

Music as memory
It’s the last full week of classes, which means that finals are right around the corner. While you may be feeling totally unproductive, Flyby’s got you covered with our Productivity Playlist to help you get through the next few weeks. With our masterfully curated mix of chill songs, you’ll be able to grind through some serious work while enjoying some nice beats that remind you to stay optimistic.

We present: Flyby’s Productivity Playlist

The Guide to Visitas is here!!

Guide to Visitas Cover Graphic
Check out Flyby's first-ever Guide to Visitas here! Learn more about Harvard, get insider Visitas tips from our writers, and get Visitas advice from administrators, faculty, and staff!

How to Be a Good Visitas Host

Admittedly Confused
Yes, your prefrosh will have questions
First impressions only happen once. And when considering where to spend the next four years of your life, the first impression of college is make it or break it. So hosting a prefrosh can feel like a lot of pressure, especially when a typical Harvard student’s day is driven by a semi-predictable Google Calendar with an impossible goal of eating dinner by 7:15 p.m. before the dhall closes. Not to worry, future Visitas host! We have your back with these three easy steps to give your prefrosh a first impression of Harvard they won’t forget.

Step 1: Prepare Your Room

Putting a little effort into cleaning your room will go a long way in making your prefrosh feel at home. You don’t need to go crazy here, but maybe that half-eaten bag of Lay’s and collection of mugs you never seem to get around to washing need to finally be dealt with. If you don’t have a river daddy you can spend the night with to free up your own bed, then consider borrowing an air mattress from someone in your entryway.

Step 2: Give A Personalized Tour

Scope out your prefrosh’s interests, and then curate a tour for them based on what they’d enjoy. If they’re an athlete, take them across the river to see their future facilities, and be sure to point out where the Powerade is in the dhall (bonus points: Have them prepare their tray with two cups, and they’ll fit right in). Don’t just show them Lamont, but take them into the cafe and point out the corner you cried in at 3 a.m. the day of the Economics 10a: “Principles of Economics” midterm. Harvard is the sum of its people: the good, the bad, and the crazy, so don’t leave out any of the details. Your prefrosh wants to feel like a real student. Share insider tips like Board Plus, how Annenberg is actually called “the Berg,” the debate about El Jefe’s versus Felipe’s, and which classes are true gems.

Step 3: Encourage Them to Actually Attend Visitas Events

This one’s partially for your own sanity. Hosting can be exhausting (Harvard kids aren’t used to this much socializing). Be sure to take some time for yourself. A great way to do this is to take advantage of all the admissions programming offered. It’s important that prefrosh get to know each other, even if it is in slightly forced, always awkward, school-sponsored settings. Some people meet their best friends at Visitas (or future blockmates they’ll fall out with). Regardless, it’s all part of the journey, and free food is usually involved.

Harvard, in all its mystique, faults, and glory, can seem intimidating. But once your prefrosh realizes no Harvard student actually knows what they’re doing with their life, some of the nerves will fade away. Remind them that the Harvard experience is so much bigger than the Yard, and that getting in is really the hardest part. After all, to graduate you just have to complete three easy tasks (which you may share at your own discretion). Happy hosting!

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